Leonardo Da Vinci
Italian High Renaissance Painter and Inventor, 1452-1519
Florentine Renaissance man, genius, artist in all media, architect, military engineer. Possibly the most brilliantly creative man in European history, he advertised himself, first of all, as a military engineer. In a famous letter dated about 1481 to Ludovico Sforza, of which a copy survives in the Codice Atlantico in Milan, Leonardo asks for employment in that capacity. He had plans for bridges, very light and strong, and plans for destroying those of the enemy. He knew how to cut off water to besieged fortifications, and how to construct bridges, mantlets, scaling ladders, and other instruments. He designed cannon, very convenient and easy of transport, designed to fire small stones, almost in the manner of hail??grape- or case-shot (see ammunition, artillery). He offered cannon of very beautiful and useful shapes, quite different from those in common use and, where it is not possible to employ cannon ?? catapults, mangonels and trabocchi and other engines of wonderful efficacy not in general use. And he said he made armoured cars, safe and unassailable, which will enter the serried ranks of the enemy with their artillery ?? and behind them the infantry will be able to follow quite unharmed, and without any opposition. He also offered to design ships which can resist the fire of all the heaviest cannon, and powder and smoke.
The large number of surviving drawings and notes on military art show that Leonardo claims were not without foundation, although most date from after the Sforza letter. Most of the drawings, including giant crossbows (see bows), appear to be improvements on existing machines rather than new inventions. One exception is the drawing of a tank dating from 1485-8 now in the British Museum??a flattened cone, propelled from inside by crankshafts, firing guns. Another design in the British Museum, for a machine with scythes revolving in the horizontal plane, dismembering bodies as it goes, is gruesomely fanciful.
Most of the other drawings are in the Codice Atlantico in Milan but some are in the Royal Libraries at Windsor and Turin, in Venice, or the Louvre and the École des Beaux Arts in Paris. Two ingenious machines for continuously firing arrows, machine-gun style, powered by a treadmill are shown in the Codice Atlantico. A number of other sketches of bridges, water pumps, and canals could be for military or civil purposes: dual use technology.
Leonardo lived at a time when the first artillery fortifications were appearing and the Codice Atlantico contains sketches of ingenious fortifications combining bastions, round towers, and truncated cones. Models constructed from the drawings and photographed in Calvi works reveal forts which would have looked strikingly modern in the 19th century, and might even feature in science fiction films today. On 18 August 1502 Cesare Borgia appointed Leonardo as his Military Engineer General, although no known building by Leonardo exists.
Leonardo was also fascinated by flight. Thirteen pages with drawings for man-powered aeroplanes survive and there is one design for a helicoidal helicopter. Leonardo later realized the inadequacy of the power a man could generate and turned his attention to aerofoils. Had his enormous abilities been concentrated on one thing, he might have invented the modern glider. Related Paintings of Leonardo Da Vinci :. | La Gioconda (The Mona Lisa) | Reverse side of the portrait of Ginevra de' Benci | Madonna of the Rocks | Detail of Madonna of the Rocks | Leda |
Related Artists:Juan Antonio Escalante
Spanish Baroque Era Painter, 1633-1670
Spanish painter. He was an outstanding figure in decorative Baroque art. When quite young he moved from Andalusia to Madrid, where he apparently worked with and was influenced by Francisco Rizi. His artistic development reveals an increasing admiration for Veronese, Tintoretto and Titian, although elements of the style of Alonso Cano persist. Among his first works is Andromeda and the Dragon (c. 1659; Madrid, Prado), whose mannerist elements derive from an engraving of the subject by Agostino Carracci. The two brilliant works St Catherine of Alexandria (Madrid, Las Maravillas) and Road to Calvary (Madrid, Real Acad. S Fernando), signed and dated 1660, are executed with an agile and self-assured technique, in colours that stem from Venetian painting. Like other Spanish painters of the period, he painted numerous versions of the Immaculate Conception (e.g. 1660, Colegio de Villafranca de los Barros; 1663, Budapest, Mus. F.A.; c. 1666, Benedictine monastery of Lumbier, Navarre), which are more Baroque in style and expression than those of Jose Antolenez and Mateo Cerezo. In these the faces, surrounded by luxuriant hair, is expressed an innocent candour that contrasts with the turbulent appearance of the cherubs. Also characteristic of his style are the versions of the Annunciation (1653; New York, Hisp. Soc. America Mus; B?ziers, Mus. B.-A.). He treated the theme of St Joseph with great nobility, as in the Dream of St Joseph (1666; New York, Chrysler Col.). His deep lyrical feelings pervade the various paintings of the Infant St John (Madrid, Prado).Robert Reid
Robert Reid Galleries
Robert Lewis Reid (July 29, 1862 ?C December 2, 1929) was an American Impressionist painter and muralist.
Reid was born in Stockbridge, Massachusetts and attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston under Otto Grundmann, where he was also later an instructor. In 1884 he moved to New York City, studying at the Art Students League, and in 1885 he went to Paris to study at the Acad??mie Julian.
Upon returning to New York in 1889, he worked as a portraitist and later became an instructor at the Art Students League and Cooper Union. Much of his work centered on the depiction of young women set among flowers. His work tended to be very decorative.
In 1897, Reid was a member of the Ten American Painters, who seceded from the Society of American Artists. Around the turn of the century, Reid worked on several mural projects and when he returned to paintings, around 1905, his work was more naturalistic, even though his palette trended toward soft pastels.
He died in Clifton Springs, New York.Nicolaes Pietersz. Berchem
(1 October 1620 - 18 February 1683) was a highly esteemed and prolific Dutch Golden Age painter of pastoral landscapes, populated with mythological or biblical figures, but also of a number of allegories and genre pieces.
Born in Haarlem, he received instruction from his father Pieter Claesz, and from the painters Jan van Goyen, Pieter de Grebber, Jan Baptist Weenix, Jan Wils and Claes Cornelisz. Moeyaert.According to Houbraken, Carel de Moor told him that Berchem got his name from two words "Berg hem" for "Save him!", an expression used by his fellows in Van Goyen's workshop whenever his father chased him there with the intent to beat him. No trip or Grand Tour by Berchem was documented by Houbraken though he mentioned another story about the "Berg hem!" nickname which came from Berchem's conscription as a sailor; the man in charge of impressment knew him and sent him ashore with the words "Save him!".Today his name is assumed to come from his father's hometown of Berchem, Antwerp. According to the RKD he traveled to Italy with Jan Baptist Weenix, whom he called his cousin, in 1642-5. Works by him are signed both as "CBerghem" and "Berchem".